Posts for: April, 2019
In the realm of restorative dentistry, dental implants are king. A dental implant can replace a tooth with a permanent, life-like restoration with a solid reputation for durability.
Implants are also known for one other quality — variety. Not all implants are alike, and they have varied applications for use. Available in various shapes and sizes, they can be used for a single tooth or as part of a multiple tooth bridge or overdenture. And while their basic architecture is the same, you also have two options for how the permanent crown (the visible tooth portion) attaches to the implant: screwed or cemented.
A screw attachment can securely fasten a crown to an implant without the need for cement; it also allows for easy removal for repair or replacement should the crown become damaged or worn. On the other hand, it could pose a cosmetic problem — even though the access hole for the screw may be covered with a tooth-colored filling, it could still be distinguishable from the rest of the crown. There’s also a slight risk of the crown chipping around the access hole.
A crown cemented to the implant won’t have this cosmetic issue with an access hole, and will look just like a natural tooth. But unlike a screwed crown, removing a cemented crown can be more difficult. The cement may also cause gum inflammation and potential bone loss in sensitive patients.
The condition of your mouth, the type of implant you’re receiving and other circumstances will all factor into determining which method is best for you. If we’re “immediately loading” the crown (meaning we’re affixing a temporary crown to the implant immediately after placement in the jaw), then the screw method may be more advantageous. Aesthetically speaking, though, a cemented crown may be a better option in terms of final smile appearance.
But whichever method is used, you’ll still benefit from what implants do best — help you regain the function lost from a missing tooth and change your smile for the better.
If you would like more information on your options with dental implants, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “How Crowns Attach to Implants.”
Whether she’s singing, dancing or acting, Jennifer Lopez is a performer who is known for giving it all she’s got. But during one show, Lopez recently admitted, she gave a bit more then she had planned.
“I chipped my tooth on stage,” she told interviewers from Entertainment Tonight, “and had to finish the show….I went back thinking ‘Can I finish the show like this?’”
With that unlucky break, J-Lo joins a growing list of superstar singers—including Taylor Swift and Michael Buble—who have something in common: All have chipped their teeth on microphones while giving a performance.
But it’s not just celebs who have accidental dental trouble. Chips are among the most common dental injuries—and the front teeth, due to their position, are particularly susceptible. Unfortunately, they are also the most visible. But there are also a number of good ways to repair chipped, cracked or broken teeth short of replacing them.
For minor to moderate chips, cosmetic bonding might be recommended. In this method, special high-tech resins, in shades that match your natural teeth, are applied to the tooth’s surface. Layers of resin, cured with a special light, will often restore the tooth to good appearance. Best of all, the whole process can often be done in just one visit to the dental office, and the results can last for several years.
For a more permanent repair—or if the damage is more extensive—dental veneers may be another option. Veneers are wafer-thin shells that cover the entire front surface of one or more teeth. Strong, durable and natural-looking, they can be used to repair moderate chips, cracks or irregularities. They can also help you get a “red-carpet” smile: brilliant white teeth with perfectly even spacing. That’s why veneers are so popular among Hollywood celebs—even those who haven’t chipped their teeth!
Fortunately, even if the tooth is extensively damaged, it’s usually possible to restore it with a crown (cap), a bridge—or a dental implant, today’s gold standard for whole-tooth replacement. But in many cases, a less complex type of restoration will do the trick.
Which tooth restoration method did J-Lo choose? She didn’t say—but luckily for her adoring fans, after the microphone mishap she went right back up on stage and finished the show.
If you have a chipped tooth but you need to make the show go on, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Artistic Repair of Chipped Teeth With Composite Resin” and “Porcelain Veneers.”
What's the best way to straighten a crooked smile? For some teens and adults in the Waunakee, WI, area it's through clear braces. These acrylic aligners gently re-position teeth without the long treatment times, diet restrictions and oral discomforts conventional brackets and bands pose. At Karls Family Dentistry in Waunakee, Dr. Stanley Karls and Dr. Matthew Karls offer Invisalign clear braces. Here are answers to some questions they receive about this state-of-the-art orthodontic system.
FAQs about clear braces
What is Invisalign?
Invisalign was FDA-cleared back in the late nineties. Since then, these custom-designed and individually crafted aligners have improved the health and appearance of countless smiles across the globe. Instead of metal arch wires, brackets and ligatures, Invisalign uses thin, clear aligners to reposition teeth and balance bites.
Who can use clear braces?
Older teens and adults can. Your Waunakee dentist uses a complete oral examination and special three dimensional scans to determine the right course of treatment. If that's Invisalign, you'll wear 18 to 30 aligner pairs throughout your treatment and a retainer when it's over.
How long does treatment take?
Most patients are done in about a year, but every smile is different. Your treatment plan may be a bit shorter or longer. In general, clear braces straighten smiles in about half the time of conventional braces.
I hear Invisalign aligners are removable. Is that true?
Yes, they are fully removable. Patients take them out to clean them with toothpaste and water and to eat or for special events. However, because the appliances are so thin and discreet, many people leave them in even when getting their pictures taken or when speaking in public. Note: to keep treatment on track, patients wear their aligners 20 to 22 hours a day.
My teen may have difficulty complying with the treatment plan. How can I help?
Special compliance tabs maybe added to Invisalign aligners to tell patients, parents and dentists if treatment is on track or not.
Do clear braces restrict my diet?
No, they do not. Just remove them for meals and replace them afterwards. There are no bands or brackets to dislodge or wires to break.
What kind of problems can clear braces fix?
The possibilities are endless: bite issues, spacing (both gaps and crowding), and more. Of course, metal braces may be the best choice for complex problems. Dr. Karls will inform you fully on the particulars of your case so you make the best possible decision for your smile.
Find out more
If you're thinking about correcting your smile alignment issues, please call Karls Family Dentistry in Waunakee, WI, for an appointment. Your dentist will tell you all about clear braces and answer any other questions you may have. Phone us at (608) 849-4100.
A toothache means a tooth has a problem, right? Most of the time, yes: the pain comes from a decayed or fractured tooth, or possibly a gum infection causing tooth sensitivity.
Sometimes, though, the pain doesn't originate with your teeth and gums. They're fine and healthy—it's something outside of your tooth causing the pain. We call this referred pain—one part of your body is sending or referring pain to another part, in this instance around your mouth.
There are various conditions that can create referred pain in the mouth, and various ways to treat them. That's why you should first find out the cause, which will indicate what treatment course to take.
Here are a few common non-dental causes for tooth pain.
Trigeminal Neuralgia. The trigeminal nerves situated on either side of the face have three large branches that extend throughout the face; the branch to the jaw allows you to feel sensation as you chew. When one of the nerve branches becomes inflamed, usually from a blood vessel or muscle spasm pressing on it, it can refer the pain to the jaw and seem like a toothache.
Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMD). These two joints that connect the lower jaw to the skull can sometimes become dysfunctional for a variety of reasons. This can set up a cycle of spasms and pain that can radiate throughout the jaw and its associated muscles. The pain can mimic a toothache, when it actually originates in the jaw joints.
Teeth Grinding. This is an unconscious habit, often occurring at night, in which people clench or grind their teeth together. Although quite common in children who tend to grow out of it, teeth grinding can continue into adulthood. The abnormally high biting forces from this habit can cause chipped, broken or loosened teeth. But it can also cause jaw pain, headaches and tenderness in the mouth that might feel like a toothache.
These and other conditions unrelated to dental disease can seem like a tooth problem, when they're actually something else. By understanding exactly why you're feeling pain, we can then focus on the true problem to bring relief to your life.